PWInsider.com reported today that they’ve heard from sources at TNA and Spike TV that TV negotiations are still ongoing. There are conflicting reports on this. Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer newsletter that one person with knowledge of the situation said that Spike TV wanted to make things as amenable as possible.
Basically, Spike TV is not going to go public with any details about their deal and they won’t make any statements that will hurt TNA’s leverage. Spike is willing to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible if TNA is able to work out a deal with a new cable network. There are people in the TV industry that believe that UTA, who is handling TV negotiations, does not have a backup deal in place for TNA.
Apparently, the idea is that Spike TV does want to keep TNA but if the licensing fee number is reduced. There is also speculatin that Spike may want to own their own wrestling promotion.
After the story was posted on TMZ, Dixie Carter sent an email to Dave Meltzer saying that negotiations were still continuing. She also sent a similar email to the TNA wrestlers and hoped to have good news shortly. Of course, the company sent out similar emails last year when there were reports of the company being for sale. The company was for sale and there were serious talks with Toby Keith but the company denied it.
As far as the reasons for Spike not wanting to renew TNA…one is that they don’t believe that the show is cost effective for what they pay. Basically the feeling is that they can make more ad money on shows that are less expensive. The second reason why they’d want to cancel TNA is because of Vince Russo, as noted before. Basically, Spike TV was outright lied to by TNA about Russo.
There was also a feeling in the company that Bobby Lashley signing with Bellator was a good sign since Bellator is owned by Viacom. That is not the case though. If TNA does stay with Spike at a reduced rate then that would be a major financial issue for TNA since the money from Spike was their biggest revenue stream and they’ve already been cutting costs this year even with the current Spike deal. Things got so bad at one point that the production crew threatened to walk out because they were behind on pay. Everyone has since been caught up with their pay.
Also, TNA losing Hulk Hogan has become an issue for them. One person with ties to the TV industry said that there is no interest in TNA among other networks and losing Hogan hurt them because he is a name that executives would know and Hogan would help get them in the door to make pitches.
News from the Wrestling Observer newsletter was used in this post. Please visit WrestlingObserver.com for subscription information.